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RCC Blog

The Gospel on a Soda Cup

Posted By Ken Alvis, Pastor of Community Groups & Assimilation On Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Who doesn’t like In-N-Out Burger?  The burgers (can you say double-double?) and the fries (animal style) have brought me immense pleasure for years and years.  Their first store opened in 1948 in Baldwin Park, CA and now numbers over 300 in six states. As a privately owned company with Christian values, one of the company’s not-so-hidden aspects is the printing of Bible verses on the cups and wrappers.  This has apparently been in place since the mid-1980’s.  Each of the Bible verses has a powerful message.   

On the french fries wrapper is Proverbs 24:16 which says “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”  God has not promised us a smooth life.  In fact, there are often troubles and adversity.   The proverb tells us that no matter the difficulty we rise again and again because our path is sustained by God.  This is great encouragement.    

The milkshake (I prefer vanilla) cup has Proverbs 3:5 on the underside which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”  To trust in the Lord is rational.  To trust in yourself, in your own understanding, is irrational, especially when one can trust the Lord.  We make short-term decisions every day.  What to eat, what to wear, who to talk to, who not to talk to, and so on.  We also make long-term decisions such as career, relationship, location, and major purchases.  It can be so easy to not include God in the decisions we make.  We get distracted and forget how important it is to get God’s direction on things.  Sadly, when we trust only in our understanding it usually results in a crooked path, or for me, it looks more like a cul-de-sac.  But if we trust in the Lord, He will make our path straight.  

On the wrapper of the scrumptious double-double burger is Nahum 1:7 which says “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”  It is easy to say this when all is going good but things can change fast such as losing a job, an injury, or health issues.  Satan constantly challenges this truth.  If God is good, why did He allow this bad thing to happen to you or your family member or a friend?  It’s important that we acknowledge God’s sovereignty and that God’s ways are not our ways, and are beyond us knowing.  Thankfully, what sustains us in adversity is this truth that God is good.  

John 3:16 is on the bottom of the soda cup.  It says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16 is perhaps the most well-known verse in all of Scripture, and for good reason.  The truths contained in this verse are life-changing.  God’s love for the world wasn’t just sentiment but led to a specific action:  he gave his only Son to die on the cross for the purpose of making God’s great gift of eternal life available to anyone who personally trusts in him.  God’s amazing grace!

Finally, on the hamburger and cheeseburger wrapper is Revelation 3:20 which say “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”  We all begin our lives with a door separating us from Him.  Jesus takes the initiative by coming to the door and knocking.  There’s only two ways to respond to a knock – ignore it or open the door.  To open the door, you must simply believe Jesus is the Son of God, repent of your sins, and surrender your life to Him.  When you do this, Christ comes into your life, forgives your sins, and becomes your Savior and friend.  He will come in and eat with you which is so personal.  When we eat together we talk, we laugh and we share.  There is just something about relationships formed over food.  It’s personal and real.  Jesus is promising to come in and be part of our lives, to connect, to be there.  

So to summarize these five verses goes something like this:  We live in a cruel and unforgiving world but God helps and protects us through every trial and problem because He is good and loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.  We need only to trust Him completely, repent and receive His free gift of grace and then reap the amazing benefit of having a close personal fellowship with Him as we allow Him to direct and lead our life on this earth and look forward to eternity with Him.  

Now if you would excuse me, I suddenly became hungry and need to make a trip to a very special place.  Can you guess where I’m going?

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